Game 36 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks

Francisco Garcia and Jimmer Fredette converse on the floor. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Mavs perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate The Two-Man Game.

The book on the Mavs:  These are not the same Mavs that won an NBA title just two years ago.  Turnover has shaken up their roster and age seems to be getting the best of them.  Dirk Nowitzki has returned to the lineup following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but Dallas has posted just a 1-7 record since his return.  The 2007 MVP is averaging just 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in nine games played this season.

Did you know?  Tomorrow marks the two-year anniversary of CK Contributor Rob McAllister’s report of a potential deal to move the Kings to Anaheim.  Unrelated to the game, but still relevant in the big picture nevertheless.

Status Updates: Marcus Thornton is listed as day-to-day with a sprained left ankle.  Following practice yesterday, he expressed uncertainty about returning to the Kings’ lineup tonight.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (13-22)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Francisco Garcia
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Dallas Mavericks Probable Starters (13-23)

PG: Darren Collison
SG: O.J. Mayo
SF: Shawn Marion
PF: Dirk Nowitzki

C: Chris Kaman



  • Points Per Game: 96.5
  • Offensive Rating: 101.3
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 101.5
  • Defensive Rating: 107.6
  • Pace: 94.49


  • Points Per Game: 98.4
  • Offensive Rating: 99.6
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 100.7
  • Defensive Rating: 104.7
  • Pace: 96.33

Three questions to ponder

1.  With rumors circulating once again about the Kings’ future in Sacramento, what kind of attendance will we see at Sleep Train Arena?

Kings games haven’t exactly been a hot ticket in recent years and it shown in their attendance figures.  This season, the Kings are averaging 13,177 fans per game at Sleep Train Arena, which barely beats the Detroit Pistons for the lowest attendance in the league.  But in the past, fans have come out in full force when things have turned sour.  Following the demise of the arena deal last April, an announced crowd of 16,012 came to watch a Kings’ team in the middle of a seven-game losing streak play the Portland Trail Blazers.

2.  Will any of the Maloofs or Mayor Kevin Johnson be seen at tonight’s game?

Usually, Gavin Maloof can be seen seated in the owners’ courtside seats next to the Kings TV broadcast table.  But Gavin, along with the rest of the family, has been noticeably absent from recent Kings’ home games.  Seated in their place have been anyone unfamiliar faces to multi-platinum selling rappers.  The mayor has attended a few games this year, most notably the home opener against the Golden State Warriors.  When times have gotten rough, the three-time NBA All-Star has appeared courtside at Kings’ games.  In 2011, a day before the city’s critical presentation to the NBA Board of Governors, Johnson attended the Kings’ home finale against the Los Angeles Lakers before leaving at halftime to fly to New York.

3.  In his second game back in the lineup, what kind of effort will we see out of Tyreke Evans?

After missing 16 games this season with a sore left knee, Evans was a bit rusty in his return to the court on Monday.  The Kings swingman scored just five points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field and recorded only one assist and one rebound in close to 13 minutes of action against the Memphis Grizzlies.  After the game, he said he felt fine and wasn’t worried about his conditioning, but that’s what a player is going to say.  Keith Smart noted following the loss and at practice the ensuing day that Evans is clearly not in NBA-game shape yet and that it would take some time for him to regain his conditioning.  Does he show some progress tonight?

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